Everyday Advice for the Working Millennial {Guest Post}

The professional lifestyles of today are more different and unconventional than ever before. Especially among millennials, career paths often involve non-traditional working environments and responsibilities, compared to the older, more established generations.

But while most millennials understand the importance of a work-life balance, that temptation to become consumed with our careers often takes priority over well-being. We tend to stick our own health on the backburner—not realizing the immense value of staying both physically and mentally fit in the long-term.

If this sounds familiar, you aren’t alone. Fortunately, there are numerous strategies for balancing work and wellness, so here are some easy-to-implement solutions to keep that mind and body going strong!

work-and-wellness

Exercise Your Way to Happiness.

After a tiring workday, the first instinct is often to turn on Netflix rather than hitting the gym, but making time for exercise is a habit anyone can develop with conscious effort and persistence—even with a hectic schedule. If you’re not sure how to begin a workout regimen, just aim for completing 10,000 steps on a daily basis which promotes cardio strength and stamina. In addition to the physical benefits, exercise releases endorphins that alleviate stress or burnout too.

Meditate for Inner Peace.

Engaging in a mindfulness practice is among the most effective tools for stabilizing your emotions. Ancient forms of meditation, like pranayama or SuperBrain yoga (Thoppukaranam), keep the mind both alert and active. Not to mention, this deep conscious breathing ritual promotes balanced hormone levels and gives you an outlet for much-needed “me time.”

Eat Well and Eat Often.

Long work hours often lead to grabbing a quick bite at random intervals, choosing the convenient “fast food” option or skipping meals altogether. While a nutritious lunch might require more time and effort, consuming small portions of healthy foods on a frequent basis keeps the body satiated and the mind focused—without hunger pangs distracting you or processed ingredients draining your energy.

Don’t Be Penny-Wise and Pound-Foolish.

Poor money management is a leading cause of stress, so it’s vital to maintain “financial health.” Spend at least 5 minutes each day tracking your expenses to make sure the bills are paid on time, the savings account is secure, the budget is still intact, and there’s enough cashflow remaining for an emergency fund too. When you aren’t worried about living paycheck to paycheck, that sense of freedom translates into a less anxious, more productive mind.

Do What Your Love.

Ultimately, it’s important to evaluate if your chosen career path brings happiness. You’ll spend about three-fourths of each day working, so you might as well pursue a job that gives you satisfaction. While it’s unrealistic to assume that professional success can guarantee 100% contentment, make sure you’re self-aware enough to recognize when a job starts compromising your quality of life. Offset this “occupational hazard” by dedicating time each week to non-work related passions and hobbies that create a sense of purpose you just won’t find in punching a clock.

Implementing these habits into your routine can dramatically enhance that work-life balance we should all be striving for. It’s a common pitfall to focus just on career ambitions—especially if you’re new to the workforce—but don’t allow this to become a long-term trend. Give yourself the time, space and permission to manage other aspects of life too. Your physical, mental and emotional wellness depends on it, after all.


Akshata Mehta has a passion for traveling and exploring the world. She loves to write, and is especially interested in sustainability for everyday life. Being a foodie, she also enjoys cooking up healthy concoctions in her kitchen, recording these recipes and more on her blog With Love From Akshata.

 

 

5 Tips for Drinking More Water On the Reg {Guest Post}

During those teenage years, my mom (a certified yoga instructor) nagged me constantly to hydrate more often. But in my oh-so-mature, kinda rebellious state, I’d hear the advice, but not really listen.

Despite her knowledge of pranic healing and ayurvedic technique, she was still my mother—and hanging on her every word didn’t rank high on the priority list. Besides, I didn’t even like drinking water. It was plain and boring, with no real taste or texture. I much preferred a more flavorful thirst-quencher.

Only after studying nutrition and biology in college, have I realized that my mom was right all along—water is life. Therefore, consuming the required amount of 2-3 liters per day (as confirmed by most experts) does wonders. In fact, now I make a conscious effort to drink more water, using the pointers my mother tried teaching her stubborn teenage daughter.

Since then, I’ve definitely noticed a change in my well-being—from a healthier weight to a clearer complexion. So, now I’m passing along those tips which helped me include more water in my routine…without feeling like a chore!

how-to-drink-more-water

  • Down those Shots.

Ever played that drinking game with your friends during a movie where you all take a shot whenever a character says one particular phrase on-screen? Well, not only is that game effective for imbibing copious amounts of alcohol, it’s also a simple strategy for upping your H2O intake.

Next time you’re watching TV, reading a book, scrolling through social media or even attending a work seminar, play this game with yourself. Sip a couple ounces of water each time you come across a certain word, either in print or spoken aloud. This can help to supplement your hydration in manageable chunks throughout the day.

  • Go Au Naturel. 

As a devoted yogi, my mother was against zero-calorie vitamin water. And now I understand why—this flavored alternative claims to be healthy, but contains an absurd amount of chemicals or artificial sweeteners. In fact, a recent study found that most flavored waters exceed your recommended sugar allowance, as stated by the World Health Organization.

If you can’t handle the taste of plain water and use flavored water as your go-to substitute, this habit is derailing your own health. But fear not—there’s another solution.

Consider infusing that H2O with mint leaves, lemon slices or fresh berries. Adding these ingredients enhances the enjoyment factor with natural sweetness (or tartness), while providing nutritional benefits too.

  • Find an App for That.

Mobile apps exist for literally everything imaginable, and there’s no shortage of options to keep you on-track for meeting that daily hydration quota. If you’re tech-savvy, download these apps for extra accountability.

Most feature goal setting functions to input your desired intake, periodic alarms reminding you it’s time for a swig, and tracking technology to record your consumption for the entire week. They even come equipped with a database of statistics and “pro-tips” for boosting overall health.

  • Practice Interval Drinking.

Make a habit of drinking one large glass of water before each meal and after each bathroom break. Assuming you eat three meals per day, that’s three glasses down.

Couple that with another glass after every bathroom break, and you’ll consume at least eight servings total (most people urinate about 6-8 times in a 24 hour period). Also, drinking water before eating will curb your appetite, promoting healthy weight management.

  • Finally, Treat Yo’self. 

You know that feeling of a brand new coffee mug, when just you gotta use it ASAP? Well, the same goes for H2O. Splurge on a fancy-schmancy water bottle to keep on your desk or bedside. Whenever you glance at this new purchase, you’ll be motivated to take a gulp!

We’re naturally drawn to appreciate colors, patterns and designs, so adding this visual incentive can psychologically enhance your water drinking experience.

However you choose to fuel up, remember that 60% of the human body is comprised of water, so ensuring adequate hydration is vital. Take it from this H2O convert—the wellness benefits are hard to ignore!

glass-of-water

image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons


Akshata Mehta has a passion for traveling and exploring the world. She loves to write, and is especially interested in sustainability for everyday life. Being a foodie, she also enjoys cooking up healthy concoctions in her kitchen, recording these recipes and more on her blog With Love From Akshata.

When Wellness Meets Wanderlust…

My latest hashtag obsession is #WellnessWednesday because it’s yet another excuse to bombard Instagram with Nutri Bullet concoctions, farmer’s market finds, quirky kitchen experiments, post-Pure Barre selfies, or other health and fitness snippets.

But here’s another social media trend I’ve recently discovered— #WanderlustWednesday, which fuels my desire to travel while aiming my fangirl energy at those Instafamous globetrotters. Million-dollar question, though: Do I admire their free spirits or hate their guts for jetting off to Dubai on a random workweek? #CantDecide.

Anyway (existential conumdrums aside), since it’s Wednesday, I’ve decided to combine both hashtags into one blog post. After all, with spring break and summer vacations just around the corner, “travel bug” symptoms will reach epidemic proportions. This. Is. Not. A. Drill.

Whether you’ve booked a weekend beach getaway, cross-country road trip or overseas adventure in these upcoming months, don’t let fitness and nutrition goals take a vacay too. So, before the “bon voyage,” add my Three Step Healthy Travel Checklist to your itinerary.

travel checklist

√   Make smart snacks accessible. If you’re driving, pack a cooler with no-mess options like carrots, grapes, almonds or sunflower seeds. If you’re flying, pinpoint a natural foods market near your destination and grab some guilt-free munchies for the hotel room.

√   Keep physical activity on the agenda. Instead of a sightseeing bus tour, enjoy the local landmarks on-foot or rented bikes. Visit a National Park for nature excursions like hiking, kayaking or horseback riding. Even take advantage of your hotel’s fitness amenities.

√   Plan for just-in-case medical care. Unforeseen illnesses or injuries, not only interrupt a trip, but are difficult to seek treatment for when you don’t know the area. In such emergencies, Amino’s Find a Doctorservice connects you to physicians based on your current location, insurance network and personal needs.

And for even more resources on staying healthy wherever the road takes you, check out these additional suggestions below:

Healthy Travel Tips

It’s foolproof—Wellness + Wanderlust = WINNING!


Special thanks to Amino for supplying both the Infographic and “Find a Doctor” referral information featured in this post.

Breaking Vegan: a Relatable Read for Real Life

First things first: gonna start this post with a disclaimer—I’m not vegan. Aside from a vegetarian experiment back in college, I’ve always felt comfortable eating fish, poultry and certain animal by-products.

This is worth mentioning because I know several members of the vegan community have reacted forcefully to the memoir I’m about to discuss. So, for the record, my thoughts on Breaking Vegan are less concerned with this titular label and geared instead toward the author’s portrayal of disordered eating.

Alrighty. We’ve established I don’t follow the diet in question (although my love for fruits, veggies and plant-based proteins is real!), so why have I dedicated an entire post to this book?

Breaking Vegan book cover

Well…because it’s not just about veganism. It’s about being human.

Which sometimes means taking our passions to harmful extremes. Ignoring any smidgeon of logic that might contradict our single-minded intent. Forcing ourselves to believe whatever dogma, justification or outright lie supports our lifestyle choices. Rolling our eyes at those who voice concern. And disregarding our basic need to feel.

But this book is also about redemption. Healing both physical weakness and emotional wounds. Surrendering that insatiable urge for control. Embracing life’s hairpin turns, breakneck speeds and unpredictable thrills. Filling those empty spaces with a mindful center. Swapping out numbness for self-awareness. Affirming—even [gasp!] loving—every little quirk. And choosing balance over reckless abandon.

Basically, this book is about me.

Well…if you wanna get technical, it’s about Jordan Younger (a.k.a. The Balanced Blonde) and her relatably raw transition from orthorexia to personal acceptance.

But yeah, also me. And anyone else who’s lost their identity through the pursuit of perfection. That’s why Breaking Vegan is an important read. Not because Jordan bashes veganism (FYI: she doesn’t), but because she validates our right as individuals to live without labels.

While entrenched in my eating disorder, I used the “wellness” facade to rationalize my irrational behavior. I tossed that buzzword around like a humble brag and considered it my benchmark for success. Yet relentlessly pining after “health” made me unhealthier than I’d ever been. Gotta love irony, right?

Like Jordan points out from her own experience, I couldn’t even contemplate—let alone, begin—the recovery process until those identifiers no longer defined me.

I’ll always gravitate toward “wellness,” but there’s more to life than caloric counts, ingredient lists or sugar grams.

Passion often turns into obsession. I know this firsthand. The challenge, therefore, lies in restoring equilibrium—an elusive concept yet vital component. Sometimes my grasp on this feels superficial, but here’s one takeaway from Jordan’s story: healing can happen. Her message of sustainable, centered and [of course!] balanced health is exactly how I wanna approach this thing we call living.

So…Challenge. Accepted.

And since some messages are most impactful straight from their source, I’ll leave you with an excerpt of my favorite Breaking Vegan quotes:

Word.

Creative Breakfast Ideas to Make Nutri Maqui Part of Your Morning Routine {Guest Post}

Nutri Maqui antioxidant support

Fueling your body with the health benefits of Nutri Maqui superfruit juice is an enjoyable experience for several reasons.

The essential nutrients this supplement provides – such as immune-supporting antioxidants and longevity-promoting flavonoids – will help you feel vibrant and energized throughout the entire day. So, start each morning with Nutri Maqui then simply reap the wellness rewards, no matter how demanding your schedule might be.

The rich, silky and slightly tart flavor of this naturally-formulated juice blend pairs perfectly with other nourishing noshes as well. The following recipes – packed with protein, vitamins and minerals from various fruits, leafy greens and whole grains – will turn that been-done-before breakfast into a powerhouse meal.

Just take a look at these tantalizing examples…

Nutri Maqui Energy Bowl (total prep time: 3 minutes)

Ingredients:

½ Apple (cored & sliced)

½ c. Berries (any variety, sliced)

Âź c. Cashews (raw & unsalted)

2 tbsp. Oats (whole grain)

1 tbsp. Nutri Maqui Juice

1 tbsp. Almond Butter (organic)

Preparation:

1. In a serving bowl, mix together the fruit, cashews and oats.

2. Drizzle the Nutri Maqui juice over the other ingredients and mix again.

3. Top the energy bowl with a dollop of almond butter.

Nutri Maqui energy bowl


Nutri Maqui Green Smoothie (total prep time: 5 minutes)

Ingredients:

1 c. Almond or Cashew Milk (unsweetened)

½ cup Kale (chopped)

½ Avocado (diced)

1 tbsp. Almond Butter (organic)

1 tbsp. Nutri Maqui Juice

½ tbsp. Matcha Powder (organic)

2 tsp. Oats (whole grain)

½ tsp. Stevia (organic)

Preparation:

1. Place all the ingredients together in a blender.

2. Puree until the smoothie texture is smooth and creamy.

Nutri Maqui green smoothie


Nutri Maqui Greek Yogurt (total prep time: 1 minute)

Ingredients:

1 c. Greek Yogurt (plain)*

1 tbsp. Nutri Maqui juice

2 tsp. Blue Agave Nectar (organic)

1 tsp. Cinnamon (or, to taste)

* Note: Make this recipe vegan by substituting Greek Yogurt with a non-dairy alternative like Coconut Yogurt.

Preparation:

1. In a serving bowl, mix together the yogurt, agave and Nutri Maqui juice.

2. Top the yogurt with a desired sprinkling of cinnamon.

Nutri Maqui yogurt


Nutri Maqui Pancakes (total prep time: 10 minutes)

Ingredients:

1 c. Whole Wheat Flour (organic)*

½ c. Water (add more if necessary)

½ Banana or Avocado (as a binding agent)

½ c. Strawberries (for topping, sliced)

1 tbsp. Nutri Maqui Juice

1 tbsp. Almond Butter (organic)

2 tsp. Cacao Powder (raw & organic)

½ tsp. Stevia (organic)

* Note: Make this recipe gluten-free by substituting Whole Wheat Flour with a GF alternative like Flaxseed Meal.

Preparation:

1. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, “binder” fruit, cacao, stevia and Nutri Maqui juice.

2. Add water until the texture becomes smooth, like batter, and mix again.

3. Heat a skillet on a medium stove setting and coat the bottom with cooking spray.

4. Ladle Âź of the batter into the skillet and cook until it starts bubbling.

5. Flip the pancake on its other side and cook for about the same     amount of time.

6. Repeat steps 4–5 with the remaining batter until you have 4 pancakes.

7. Top the pancakes with almond butter and sliced strawberries.

Nutri Maqui pancakes

Every morning can set the tone for embracing a wholesome, balanced lifestyle if your body gets its daily dose of Nutri Maqui antioxidant benefits.

Have these ideas inspired you to create your own breakfast concoctions? Comment with more Nutri Maqui recipes below!

Huge thanks to Nutri Lifescience, LLC, for supplying the research, content and graphics for this post.

3 Ways to Beat a ‘Cold’ Summer {Guest Post}

Those “dog days of summer” are upon us, and the season is synonymous with warmer weather, more daylight, plus the freedom to enjoy every single minute!

Most of us can confidently say we have grand plans in the works to make the most of this fantastic season — with no signs of slowing down. However, one of the quickest ways to bring summer fun to a screeching halt is by getting sick!

While you may think you’re only susceptible to colds during winter, the truth is anyone can catch a cold, anytime of year. Unfortunately, that includes our beloved summertime.

With that said though, check out these foolproof tips for keeping your summer anything but cold this year!

1.   Regular Exercise

Physical activity can benefit our bodies in numerous ways, like preventing obesity or diabetes, reducing stress and improving cardiovascular health. But, did you know exercise can also reduce the risk of catching a cold? Movement increases blood flow and circulation throughout your body, bolstering overall immunity. Therefore, your immune system can rapidly detect cold-bearing intruders and stop them before they spread!

regular exercise

2. Nutritious Diet

Your body relies on the absorption of essential nutrients from daily food intake to function optimally because these vitamins and minerals boost your body’s natural defenses against the common cold. Therefore, eating a diet packed with vitamin C and antioxidants — including berries, citrus fruits and even kiwi — is extremely beneficial. Vitamin C, in particular, boosts your immune system by exciting the production of antibodies to strengthen and support disease-fighting responses.

Additionally, consider eating more seafood this summer — specifically tuna, salmon and mackerel. These oily fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, compounds that keep your immune system in check by reducing potentially detrimental inflammation.

nutritious diet

3.   Vital Vitamins

If you’re not a fan of fish or fruit, you can still fight colds by taking daily vitamins! These supplements are a simple way to support physical health because they require minimal thought or effort  If you prefer the all-in-one approach, consider a multivitamin that provides the basic nutrient building blocks your body craves. However, if you’d rather focus on the main cold-fighting essentials, here are a few supplements worth trying:

For starters, stock up on supplements like vitamin C. Studies have shown that vitamin C decreases the length of a cold by 24-36 hours. Next, you’ll want to consider a Vitamin D supplement, which promotes healthy teeth and bones, while reducing the risk of respiratory infections and the flu. Finally, enhance your immune system’s ability to fend off bacteria by taking a Vitamin B supplement.

IF

Nothing ruins warm weather bliss like feeling “under the weather.” So, implement these preventative measures for a cold-free, fun-filled summer!


Huge thanks to Vita Living Wellness Supplements for supplying the research, content and graphics for this post.